Win customers forever: Passkeys via keychain.

Win customers forever: Passkeys via keychain.

Google and Apple have started integrating passkeys into their ecosystems, automatically generating them for devices tied to their user accounts. As these tech giants cover a substantial portion of the global smartphone user base, soon every person on earth will have at least one passkey. As users increasingly familiarize themselves with the ease and security of passkeys, any website or app provider will need to offer secure, customized, and unified solutions for a better way to manage users’ login credentials.

In recent decades, cookies have played a crucial role for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, as they allow them to personalize the user experience with user-related information in websites and apps, such as storefront preferences for a single buyer. Enabling features such as adding items to shopping carts, saved preferences, and user account information, they are essential for facilitating e-commerce transactions. By storing session data in cookies, B2C companies can ensure a seamless shopping experience, allowing users to add items to their carts, return to the website later, and complete their purchase without losing their selections. Cookies can help to further optimize user experience by remembering a user's language preference, website layout settings, or login credentials and thus making it easier for customers to navigate the site. In the last two years, however, there has been an increase in the focus on data privacy and protection, which has resulted in stricter regulations regarding cookies - especially regarding user tracking and personal data. Several factors have contributed to this trend:

Regulations around cookies get stricter

Since January 2021, the so-called cookie banner obligation according to DSGVO applies to websites and apps in Germany. Websites must provide clear and detailed information about the cookies they use, their purposes, and the option for users to accept or reject them. Apple already blocked many third-party cookies with updates to its Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature (ITP), which aims to limit cross-site tracking and protect user privacy by restricting the use of cookies and other tracking technologies. Google has also announced that it will stop using third-party cookies in Chrome by the end of 2024, joining a growing list of browsers ditching the notorious tracking technology. Further, Google will not implement alternative user-level identifiers to replace third-party cookies. "Today, we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products," said David Temkin, Google's director of product management for ads privacy and trust. In the Google Analytics 4 version, the latest version of the platform, there are already adapted privacy settings such as analytics without cookies. These developments complicate B2C companies' access to their customers, as users and their behavior have always been identified with cookies up to now. In particular, the user experience suddenly becomes worse for users as it can no longer be tailored through cookies.

Re-engage with your customers with passkeys

Having seen customer engagement suffer when cookies became more restricted, passkeys as a new login method could offer a new way to re-engage with customers. A passkey is a digital credential, tied to a user account of a website or application and saved to the Apple, Google, Microsoft account or a user’s password manager (e.g. 1Password, Dashlane). All passkeys work cross-device, except for Microsoft, which will soon upgrade as well. For Apple products, for example, they are stored in the iCloud Keychain. Passkeys are gaining significant traction now that they are becoming the default login method for Google and with Apple integrating even more features with iOS 17.

Companies always aim to provide the best possible customer experience individually for each user and encourage him or her to buy more or use a product more often. In the past, a variety of data was collected for this purpose, for example via cookies. Now, passkeys could be an alternative to provide numerous benefits for marketers to optimize the customer experiencNever lose your shopping cart again

1. Never lose your shopping cart again

In the future, passkeys will enable seamless cross-platform logins (an issue that has not fully been solved yet), revolutionizing the way users access their accounts from different platforms. Unlike traditional passwords, passkeys will not be deleted or get lost (as long as you have access to e.g. your iCloud account) and thus users can easily log in even after months or years. Once you know you have a passkey in one of Apple’s, Google’s or Microsoft’s accounts, or in a passkey-compatible password manager such as 1Password, you won't have to worry about abandoned shopping cards or unfinished orders anymore. The ability to seamlessly log in across devices using passkeys ensures that customers can easily access their shopping carts and continue their unfinished orders without any hassle. This enhanced re-engagement capability can significantly reduce cart abandonment rates and improve the overall customer experience. In the Apple universe, cross-device login is already a reality, and it will spread to other providers as well.

2. Keep your customers forever

Even if a user deinstalls an iOS or Android app, his or her credentials remain synchronized in the keychain. The passkey would have to be deleted manually – which no ordinal user does in practice. Also, automatic login (called Conditional UI) enables immediate speedy re-login ever after months or years. The seamless experience of not having to manually enter credentials saves cognitive capacity of the customer and reduces clicks in the flow, making it easier for them to re-engage with an application effortlessly, even long after the initial interaction. This fosters a stronger bond between the customers and a brand, leading to increased customer retention and loyalty.

3. Increase sign-up rates significantly

With one-click accounts made possible by passkeys, we help eliminate the hurdles often associated with account creation, leading to a higher account quota and mitigating user churn when account creation is mandated. Users no longer need to remember or invent a password – a simple email address and Face ID is all that is required. This efficient process encourages more users to opt for regular accounts over guest accounts, or swiftly converts guest accounts into regular ones with just a quick Face ID or Touch ID scan.

4. Boost re-login rates

When logging in again with passkeys, users do not have to remember a password and are automatically reminded with which e-mail they signed up. They never get into time-consuming process of password resets again, eliminating a lot of frustration.  Re-login rates are increased due to massively reduced password resets and problems with passwords. Keychain is the key to easy customer acquisition through re-login: By eliminating complex authentication processes, passkeys facilitate users to get back into the user flow and effortlessly re-engage with a platform.

The goal for the future, thus, is not only to get your app on the phone, but to get at least one passkey in your customer’s keychain even if you do not have an app yet.

Passkeys are the ideal solution to re-engage with your customers. To quickly obtain these benefits without thinking of complex integration or cross-device issues, just make use of Corbado’s authentication solution that puts passkeys at the heart. Trust me, your customers will love it!

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